My Sacred Lover is the story of two souls, Chester and Lidia, quest in search of unconditional love that is their heart’s deepest desire. Even though they were born in two different continents, an arrangement of synchronicities perfectly orchestrated guided them to finally meet. Once they found each other, the wings of love embraced and guided them during the best time of their lives.
Their avid interest in the spirit world will help them to soar into a higher level of consciousness. It is a joyful, loving enlightening life adventure that will present to Lidia through dreams, signs, and messages the biggest challenge of her life that she will overcome with the help of her inner guidance.
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My Sacred Lover
A True Story of Love, Synchronicities, and Grief
By Lidia Peñalver
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Lidia Peñalver
All rights reserved.
A Little Bit About Me
I was born in Candeleda, a small village in the Valle del Tietar, province of Avila in Spain. I am the fourth of five children raised by a family of farmers and shepherds. I was always surrounded by nature and all kinds of animals.
I remember as a child being fascinated by different creatures, in particular by ants and spiders. I would spend hours looking at the entrance of the ants' nest observing how they worked. I admired their tenacity and their well-organized team effort. Other times, I would watch how a spider made her web and how it was precisely mended. Their focus on what they were doing was such that they did not seem to be bothered by my presence. After spending some time looking at them, I could sense their unity and love for what they were doing.
Living in a farmhouse gave me the chance to interact closely with domestic animals. I loved brushing the cows and took naps with them. Our house had three floors. The bottom floor was the stable, where our two cows, Marquesa and Cigüeña, and a horse stayed overnight. I was four years old when my mother thought I got lost. She was busy doing house chores when she realized I was not in the house. She had spent an hour looking for me everywhere in the village. Everybody she asked had not seen me around. Suddenly, she remembered me grabbing a big square brush as I was heading to the stable. She went downstairs, opened the door, and there I was peacefully sleeping in the lap of one of the cows. It never dawned on her I was in the house all along. She had a big smile when she saw me, and she was very thankful that the cow never moved while I was sleeping. The interaction with animals had helped me to develop a sense of gratitude and respect for all of nature's creations. Everything seemed to be magical. Even the different smells of various plants and herbs that grew wild in the area are still transporting me today to where I smelled them for the first time. It is a warm sensation of well-being and contentment. It is the love for those moments that was stored within that always brings a smile to my face.
My paternal grandparents had a business selling paprika and dried oregano. Oregano is a herb that grows wild all over the valley and mountains where we lived. You could smell it in summer when it was in bloom. Paprika is the dried grounded powder of a kind of bell pepper originating from these parts of Spain. In fact, the region of La Vera is famous for its exquisite paprika. It is used for seasoning meats and soups. It has a deep, bright red color and a very distinctive sweet yet peppery smell. It comes in three flavors if you will: one is naturally sweet; the second kind is smoked; and the third one is spicy hot when mixed with cayenne pepper to intensify the taste buds.
My grandparents had a big one-floor house and an attic where various vegetables, herbs, and farming apparel were stored during winter. It was a perfect playground for me; I loved hiding behind old wicker baskets and wooden trunks for hours when they would let me. My imagination soared in my secret hideout. One of the rooms on the first floor was used to store and weigh the paprika and oregano. It was a huge room with a ten-foot ceiling. The cemented floor was very smooth and had a shiny finish. It kept the room at a perfect temperature to store the herbs and peppers during the hot summer days. Toward one of the corners, there was an old-fashioned scale hanging from the ceiling with a strong, thick chain and two big hooks with a metal bar at the end. From one end of the metal bar, there was one plate in the shape of a frying pan. The other end had several smaller chains with hooks where the goods were hung and weighed. It was big and sturdy enough to hoist a whole pig. That room had the most amazing odor. It was the oregano fragrance that flooded every inch of those walls that created a beautiful and peaceful energy. It was one of my most favorite smells in the whole world and still is.
My sister Inés and her daughter Claudia came to visit us one Christmas and brought the precious oregano and paprika that my father, who still lives in those mountains, got for her and me. I was so excited when I saw it. I immediately opened the bag with the oregano, and right away I got transported to the valley where I was born. I saw with my mind's eye the room with a large amount of dried oregano piled up almost to the ceiling. I felt very elevated to a place of joy, happiness, and well-being. I still have the jar where I kept my precious herb. Once in a while, when I want to feel that exhilarating and peaceful sensation, all I have to do is open the jar and sniff it. It always works. Even my husband, Chester, noticed how much joy I felt when smelling it. My whole face changes into a more serene look; even my attitude relaxed, particularly if it had been acting up.
This memory is perhaps one of my most precious. It is a memory that reminds me of how such a small pleasure can bring so much joy and harmony no matter how many times I recall it. It is the pleasure of knowing that something bigger than me is always there, and I can connect to it; certainly, this oregano fragrance has that effect on me. I love its smell and how it makes me feel.
My parents did what they believed was best for me, and I thank them for the person I grew up to be. I listened to them when they told me how I had to act and behave. They told me what was right and wrong according to what their parents taught them, trying to pass that onto me. Many times I did not agree with their ideas and had to adjust regardless of what I thought or wanted.
Those were the times when I noticed the different emotions appearing within. The emotions were clashing with one another because what I thought was right for me was not compatible with what they were telling me. It did not feel right to me at that moment. I felt my emotions having a discussion among themselves, provoking different thoughts that created solutions for the event at hand. This internal dialogue helped to remove the emotional confusion in my mind. As soon as I eliminated it, I was able to get back to my happy self. Those situations helped me discern what I wanted from what I did not want. This laid a path for spiritual growth, and at the same time, ignited my inner power to create what I most desired in my life, to be happy.
There were moments during my childhood of intense contrast, which I understood later, it was necessary for my spiritual growth. Those times fueled me to seek happiness again and again. Happiness was my secret weapon to restore peace and serenity to my life. I don't know how I learned to do that, but I do know everything became easier with practice, and happiness was my primary target for a peaceful space within. I kept recreating in my mind a harmonious world of my own where happiness was the primary emergency tool. As I grew older, I started noticing how people handled their life's challenges and how they allowed themselves to become distracted from their true selves. I often wondered if they might have a secret place where they could peacefully retreat. Over and over again I practiced bringing myself back to where I felt nurtured and safe. I used my imagination to create a serene space and stayed there till I felt good again.
At the age of fifteen, I was terrified of becoming an adult. It wasn't that I did not want to grow up, but I felt that from that point on something was going to change and take my life into a path that I intuitively knew would make me experience life from a different perspective. Now I would need a stronger weapon to bring myself into my sacred space of happiness. I always managed to find books or people, or maybe they found me, that offered me guidance toward the spiritual world in which I was becoming so interested. Thus, being fifteen had its advantages in the sense that I was now accessing a different level of awareness that was similar but deeper to my own practices. It was indeed becoming more enlightening and entertaining. I was starting to learn about myself at a much deeper level.
My sister Inés's friend, la señora Angelines, whom I got to know, was very knowledgeable and had plenty of information about life and spirituality. She recommended Inés read this book called The Third Eye, and she suggested I should read it as well, and that was an eye-opener. It told the story about this one kid who had to become a Buddhist monk according to his family customs. He had to go through certain individual trials to prove himself worthy of becoming part of the temple. Once he was accepted, there would be a whole new set of tests and a series of learning processes where he would have to go within and find answers to his own questions. As I kept reading, I learned about the power of the mind and how I could create and/or change my whole world by focusing my mind on what I desired.
The trick was self-discipline. This discipline started by managing my thoughts in order not to be distracted from my path, whatever that might be. It was fascinating to me. That is when I started practicing not to let my mind wander and solely focus on what I wanted to happen and experience in my life. I decided that at least I should try one of the exercises he was practicing. My experience with it was incredibly satisfying, and now I wanted to learn more. Let me tell you, it takes a significant amount of discipline. Numerous thoughts were bombarding my mind every day. Therefore, it was an enormous task to keep my mind focused. Furthermore, my upbringing had left imprinted preconceived ideas that would interfere with the new pattern of thought that I was trying to develop.
Now that I was on a roll, I started developing new ways to experiment with what I was learning. I was excited and wanted to share it with some of my friends. But I began to realize that some of the things I was learning were not for sharing indiscriminately. It wasn't the best idea, after all, because the opinions of others would cause me to doubt what I was learning. It would make me feel like an outsider, and it would create an emotional turmoil in my mind. To me, it was very straightforward and easy to understand what I was learning because I felt it was how it ought to be.
There was a part of me that I lost touch with, and now it was the right time to dig it out. I talked to my sister about what I was experiencing as I was reading the book, and to my surprise, she was doing exactly the same as she had already read the book. I never thought of talking to her before. Now we both, just for fun, would be experimenting together and sharing our thoughts. We both became aware of the new way of seeing things beyond the physical eye. Along the way, we would meet other people who were on the same path as us. We started to have a feeling that this was not just the book, that there were a lot of other people out there that were aware and in contact with this world of the unseen and felt comfortable in their skin. I have to admit that I always felt a little bit different because of how I perceived the world around me. This book was my first helping tool that served as guidance at the beginning of my journey. It was the trigger that caused me to learn more and more about the possibility of changing my life without struggling constantly.
Now all I had to do was to keep going in the direction of my enlightenment. It seemed relatively straightforward. However, becoming more attuned meant I was going deeper into some rooted patterns of behavior that I had not been entirely aware of and that were interfering with my path. It was as if I had many layers of dense tissue in front of my eyes, and as I took one layer off at a time, something else would emerge from this new clearer vision. I could then identify what I wanted and desired to make things happier for myself and others. Happiness was always my motto. I believe that is my personal key to my success in life.
All I ever desired was to be at peace with my surroundings. Life was easier when I was focused on all the things that brought me joy. Even though I did not have a clear vision yet of what I wanted to do or which direction to turn, there was one consistent desire, and that was to be happy. That seemed to always be a longing that gave me strength and hope. Happiness was the indestructible, untouchable energy within, so rooted in my being that nothing could interfere because I was in control. I knew that belief would help me to find my way and show me the path to follow. Meanwhile, I kept on clearing my personal inner closet and dug deeper into my mind's archives where the programmed patterns of behavior and preconceived ideas about how life should or should not be were dwelling. Sometimes I was overwhelmed; other times it would empower me and give me a comforting feeling. There were times when I was confused because of my own disappointments. Initially, as I was starting to have a different view of life, I expected others to understand and to grasp my new knowledge that I was offering. I was passionate, so I would bring this new way of looking at life steadily while I conversed casually with my friends and acquaintances. The reaction I got from them was, most of the time, one of incredulity and skepticism. But their opinion did not impinge upon my now constant inner growth.
I remember having this sensation that something bigger and more powerful was always present, and there was much more to life than just getting up in the morning and following the same routine steps. There were still too many ideas and random beliefs that I learned as I was growing up that interfered incessantly. And all that old information was now clashing with this fresh new spiritual world I was immersed in. Therefore, I kept searching and answers would come right to me in the form of a book or somebody else's story. I felt like a rebel, a quiet rebel, for I never conform to standards or norms. I was never a warrior who fought openly for what I believed in, but when the opportune moment arose, I would speak up and talk about my ideas and experiences. I started feeling different, and not fitting in the spectrum of life's organized schedule was something I needed to ponder on so I would not dilute my passion for my new spiritual findings. Eventually, I kept it secret within the chambers of my inner being.
I had a much more profound but simple understanding of life: Life is happiness, and everything else will follow. Perhaps the fact that I did not want to grow up was primary because of how complicated I saw life being experienced by my own parents. We had some wonderful times together full of laughter and joy. However, there were other periods of deep sadness and disappointments. I never understood how things got so out of control. Negativity and misunderstanding through exchanging words and actions seemed not to be stemming from love and happiness. It was during those moments that I would promise myself to do better and find happiness always. I imagined creating this beautiful life for myself where understanding was an important component in my relationships — where love and kindness would always be present no matter what the situation. So I kept on dreaming and hoping and creating in my mind that amazing life of mine, and I never gave it up.CHAPTER 2
The Beginning of My Journey
It all began once I decided to learn English in the city of Boston across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain. I knew deep in my gut that learning English would help me to find my path and purpose in this life. It was not until I was sixteen that I realized learning a second language was my ticket to a new life. I always imagined what it would be like to be able to talk to many people from different parts of the world. That was exhilarating to me. I was taking English and French classes daily for two years. I was becoming good at it and started to be somewhat fluent in both languages. My brain was having an alphabet soup of different words and sounds every day, so I started having dreams about it. One particular dream was very vivid. I was in a place where there was a significant group of people who were talking in English and I understood what they were saying. However, I was surprised at the fact that I spoke Spanish back to them, and somehow we comprehended each other. I remembered thinking while dreaming, How is it possible I can understand what they are saying in English, whereas I only speak Spanish? It was puzzling and intriguing. There was this one girl in my English class a few years older than me by the name of Molly who said something that stayed engraved in my mind after I told her about my dream and my ability to understand English while dreaming. Her response was, "That is an excellent sign. You will be bilingual. It is a great message, honey." I was stupefied by the sound of it. I was only sixteen, but it did resonate within. Some ten years later, there I was in the middle of Logan International Airport ready to learn English.
Excerpted from My Sacred Lover by Lidia Peñalver. Copyright © 2016 Lidia Peñalver. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 A Little Bit About Me, 1,
Chapter 2 The Beginning of My Journey, 11,
Chapter 3 Chester's Personal Story, 16,
Chapter 4 Our First Hello, 26,
Chapter 5 Our First Date, 33,
Chapter 6 Two Weeks Before the Workshop, 38,
Chapter 7 Synchronicities, 45,
Chapter 8 The Engagement Ring, 53,
Chapter 9 House Hunting, 63,
Chapter 10 Our Wedding, 70,
Chapter 11 Loving the Life We Were Living, 80,
Chapter 12 Signs, Messages, and Dreams from Above, 86,
Chapter 13 The First Sign of Loss, 90,
Chapter 14 A Week Before His Transition, 94,
Chapter 15 Last Sunday Bliss, 99,
Chapter 16 Taking off from Physical Form, 105,
Chapter 17 The Freedom Walk, 123,
Chapter 18 Feeling Loved and Blessed, 126,
Chapter 19 Ask and You Shall See, 141,
Chapter 20 Perfect Timing, 151,
Chapter 21 Living in the Love Vibration, 158,
Chapter 22 Love, the Power Within, 162,